The Beans Fitzgerald's, January 17
Houston natives The Beans have been playing together only since 2010, but their raw, psych-driven blues-rock has made them local standouts. Kick-starting things in a classroom at the University of St Thomas, where drummer Brendan Hall's dad is a professor, they've already landed significant gigs, including a SXSW 2013 spot and some sweet stage time at last year's Free Press Summer Fest.
Vocalist Sam Griffin's howl and the band's rockin' stage show hint at rock legends like Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin, for starters. Not too shabby for a few dudes from UST, now is it? With The Couch and the Docs. ANGELICA LEICHT
Wynonna and the Big Noise Arena Theatre, January 17
With "Mama He's Crazy" (and mama herself) now long in her rearview mirror, Wynonna Judd remains one of country music's most soul-stirring vocalists. Anyone who may have forgotten that while she stepped away to other enterprises -- she's written both 2007 best-selling memoir Coming Home to Myself and the 2012 novel Restless Heart, with the eclectic album Sing: Chapter 1 in between -- got a quick reminder when she sang a heavens-opening "How Great Thou Art" at her friend George Jones' funeral at the Grand Old Opry last May.
Now with a band packing a healthy dose of rock and R&B, the Big Noise, Wynonna can tear it up on Stevie Ray Vaughan's "The House Is Rockin'" as much as she can tug at those heartstrings on "Why Not Me." CHRIS GRAY
The Flat Re-Launch Party The Flat, January 18
Rocksteady Mondays at the Flat have long been a gathering spot for some of Houston's hippest music fans, a turntable-driven adventure that strays far and wide but always strikes the right groove. At the helm has been the genial DJ Sun, whose first-ever full-length album, One Hundred, was one of the best Houston releases of 2013. He took over as managing partner of the cozy Montrose club last year, fine-tuning everything from the bar menu to the mid-century modernist aesthetic.
This Saturday, The Flat is throwing itself a grand reopening party of sorts, with an early-evening screening of the Sun-centered documentary short TSUN SET and performance by scholarly DJ/producer King Britt of Digable Planets fame. CHRIS GRAY
More shows on the next page.
B.B King Nutty Jerry's, January 18
As one of the most celebrated blues performers of our time, B.B. King has always had that sad, Southern sound running through his veins. As a child he sang sing on the street corners of Mississippi for lucky passers-by, until those corners became massive stages barely five years later. You can still find King belting out "Three O'Clock Blues" well into his 89th year, and he ain't stoppin' anytime soon if he has anything to say about it.
King still averages some 100 shows a year, and though they're a long way from that Mississippi street corner, you can bet that he puts as much soul into his blues now as he did way back when. ANGELICA LEICHT
Passafire House of Blues, January 19
Out of Savannah, Ga., Passafire's palmetto-shaded brand of of conscious reggae, dub, and alt-rock goes over equally smooth with tattooed Sublime lovers and spliff-passing Rasta traditionalists, and now they're seeing a solid decade of hard work pay off. After years of opening for many of reggae-rock's top names -- 311, Pepper, Matisyahu and the Wailers among them -- they've won so many converts of their own that Passafire's fifth studio album, Vines, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Reggae chart late last year. With Ballyhoo! and Pacific Dub. CHRIS GRAY
FOUR OTHER SHOWS YOU MIGHT CONSIDER
A Fistful of Soul: Put on your slickest threads to kick off those shoes. (Big Top Lounge, January 17)
Charlie Robison: Swaggering Hill Country maverick, the "Bad Boy of Bandera," brings his covers-heavy High Life to the Fountain View honky-tonk. (Firehouse Saloon, January 17)
Space City Beat Battle: Episode XV: Houston's most exciting turntable war returns with special guest judge Mr. Scarface himself. (Warehouse Live Green Room, January 18)
Yo Gotti: The people's champ of Memphis rap has "hustlin' in my blood" on new album, the T.I.-guesting I Am. (Warehouse Live, January 19)
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
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